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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 25, 2011 5:15pm-6:45pm EST

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him for president and some of them were very serious and i wasn't to be. i think crockett was more genuine than a lot of the so-called townhome candidates we have today. and i will tell you this. he was a lot brighter. [laughter] [applause] they think he would probably be astounded by the down of the country because he was always trying to improve himself. we found his copy of its metamorphosis. this guy who is injured. as a bumpkin. there is something really compelling about this man.
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is it true him tuning. but all those qualities i like so much in crockett i find a site not an iota 10 candidates we have today. not that i haven't. but you have to understand i am a bomb throwing bolshevik. [applause] >> that was wonderful. we loved every minute of it. and i want to thank davy crockett. i'm sure you'd be happy to sign your books. if you'd like to form a line that way, you can come up. and we want to thank you so much for coming and for this wonderful evening.
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>> good to be with you. [applause] >> you put me on the spot there, but i like that. [inaudible conversations] >> for more information, visit michael in march 1964, jacqueline kennedy sat down with arthur schlesinger junior to record seven interviews totaling over eight hours and includes include the first lady's remembrances of her husband's purse will and political life on the campaign trail and in the white house. caroline kennedy presents her mother's recordings next followed by a panel discussion that includes michael basch luscombe and ted widner and richard tonio. >> good evening.
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you've read the news stories, by your copies of the book, watch the abc primetime special morning television and even "the daily show" with jon stewart. and now tonight, live from the kennedy library, with visceral history so carefully house for the past half-century, we will hear directly from jacqueline kennedy about life with our 35th president who brought the fresh new history to life. i'm tom putnam, director of the presidential library museum in on behalf of comic, executive director of the kennedy library foundation, numbers for foundation board all of my foundation colleagues i thank you for common in all those watching on c-span and acknowledge the generous underwriters of the kennedy library forum new sponsor, bank of america, boston capital, the boston foundation and our media partners, "the boston globe" and wbo are. the opening panel, and her
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voice, jacqueline kennedy to white house years tears this new world history with never before seen documents and artifacts jacqueline kennedy had he dared generation of his intelligent, courage, discipline, and a style all her own. she had an adventurous can was an accomplished a worse one who live the life of ocala. the oral history provides us with mrs. kennedy's personal recollections and insights and i hope you allow me to comment on just one. when asperger/is your son andrew is here with us this evening about where the president has relaxed, mrs. kennedy replied it was all feeling. you love the sun and the water. and she remembers jfk is blissfully happy with the wind blowing his hair and eyes, he was for him like heading out on a horse was for me.
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her thoughtful forward to the book and some of her mother's recollection, we also learn about caroline kennedy whose presence animates the institution like no other in his steady leadership has put this labor in the forefront of the presidential library system and providing worldwide access to archival collections. we learn of the adventure stories her father told caroline is a young girl, stories about to ponies, why start but start as he will these teams come in the present and let her pick which were she was to ride and ask which cousins should race on the. caroline describes often choosing stevie smith has her adversary, as others this while listening for. when asked if the interviewer she was the heritage if his story, she quipped, of course. what you want to go to bed thinking stevie smith tried over you? [laughter] we will open tonight with a brief introduction from the triumphant horsewoman in our
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midst. after caroline's comments are panel will feature microbus loftis guide by "newsweek" as the nation's leading presidential historian who wrote the introduction to this new book as well as an extensive annotation. richard k. donohue, member of the kennedy administration, vice chair of the kennedy library foundation board of directors who knew and worked with jacqueline kennedy in the white house here in massachusetts and during the 1960 campaign. we are delighted to have ted widner, former speechwriter for bill clinton and now director of the john carter brown library at brown university has been a moderator. tristan will take written questions from the audience. their index cards available and staff will collect from you. let me note a few special guests are with us tonight come including vicki kennedy, kathleen kennedy townsend, cindy laufer mccallie, stephen smith himself into former kennedy administration officials who both happen to be my predecessors as director of this library, charles daly and dan
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smith. join us this evening is tim carter among other duties oversees the presidential library system for the national archives. a nation reveals itself by the by the men and women it produces jfk was stated in a jacqueline kennedy this nation produced a most remarkable woman. among the compliments one can bestow on this new book is that it is truly revelatory of her extraordinary life, king led to historical accomplishments. as maureen dowd noted in a recent column, who else could read war and peace turning the wisconsin primary? [laughter] her sway to learn the mona lisa to the u.s. the only time it's ever less friends and encourage white house just to scare french cuisine at state dinners better than either stew. in its editorial "the boston globe" praised caroline for publishing the world history examines treating her trust in the general public and posterity to judge these recordings for themselves. she's for many of us have talent night still astride webstar galloping through these troubled times on behalf of the cause is
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her parents believed in, not the least of which is an appreciation of history. much is revealed caroline writes in the foreword to the new book by her mother's statement, told in the same can be said that the decision to publish this oral history of a daughter that jacqueline kennedy race so well. ladies and gentlemen, caroline kennedy. [applause] [applause] >> thank you all for coming. and thanks to the staff of the library and foundation for the stewardship and tremendous care and education that they show every day here at the library. and ford members who are here numbers i worked with over the years. and especially members of my family who are here.
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can mean so to me any think it's a wonderful tribute to our parents that we are all here together. so thank you all. most importantly, it means a great deal. 50 years after my father's presidency, so many people still share his vision for america and are interested in learning about its administration. his time is really becoming part of history rather than living memory. as president kennedy's words, spirit and example remain as vital as ever. now in young people often feel disconnect it from politics, it is up to us as adults to reach across the generation and we commit ourselves in our country to the ideals to live by. from our feeling the kennedy library, the close of this anniversary year's are to stimulate interest in public service and use the power of history to hopeless solve the problems of our own time.
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we've undertaken a number of important projects. we've created the largest presidential digital archive in which my father's papers are now available online worldwide so that people can study his decisions and see history in the making. we've launched the jfk 50th website, which includes downloadable exhibits and curriculum for students and where kids cannot put testimonials about his own public service in the spirit of jfk. we sponsored conferences on the presidency, civil rights, scientific innovation in the space program and the quest for nuclear disarmament. all issues continue to shape our national destiny. as you all know we he published a set of interviews and other cave in 1964 as part of an oral history project in which more than 1000 people were interviewed about my father's life and career. when these interviews were
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completed, she sealed the audiotapes. the kennedy library and put a transcript in a safe deposit paulden new york. but she often spoke of them to me and john, few other people knew of their existence and she never gave another interview on the subject. the underlying goal of the early history project, which was the largest of its kind at the time was to capture recollections while they were fresh before the stories have been told a million times or become overly mythologize. no one interview was expected to be complete or comprehensive. but together with the underlying documentary record and historical archive house here at the kennedy library, it was hoped that they might form a composite picture could be valuable in later years. to me the most important values that make history come alive. they give us a glimpse of the
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human side of the people of the white house to remind us they are just as imperfect as the rest of us. people have been surprised that my mother who was so famously private participated in this project and gave her full commitment. but to me, it makes perfect sense. my parents shared a love of history. as a child, my father was sick a great deal. while his brothers and sisters were out playing football, he spent hours reading in bed. i had his books on british parliamentary history, the federalist papers, the american civil war and the great orators of ancient times. another preferred novels, poetry and memoirs. as tom said, she read war and peace turning the wisconsin primary. two bleak winter landscapes. [laughter] she has some nice things to say about wisconsin also.
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[laughter] she always told us the best preparation for life in the white house was reading the memoirs of the duke dissenting moms who describes how courtiers jockey for the kings attention of the court of louis the 14th another brought the same intellectual curiosity to current affairs. when she was engaged in first married to my father, she translate countless french books for him that the struggles for independence and the french colonies of algeria, tunisia, vietnam and cambodia, on which gave her a deep understanding of parts of the world that most americans are barely aware of at the time, yet are still shaping our history today. so she brought to the oral history interviews a respect for accuracy and historical scholarship. that is why she chose to be interviewed by arthur slawson sure. the pulitzer prize-winning historian who has served as a special assistant to his father. it took a good deal of courage to be as honest as she was, better reading of the chronicles of the past convinced her that
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future generations would benefit from her commitment to tell the truth as she saw it. it wasn't easy, but she felt that she was doing this for my father's sake and for history. since this book is come out, some people have been surprised by her statements and opinions. in today's world of cautious political memoir, it's hard to imagine a contemporary public figure writing such a forthright book. but she did not dick cheney out of the number one spot on the bestseller list. [laughter] [applause] so i think she deserves a lot of credit for her honesty. one of the difficult decisions i faced was whether to edit the interviews. there are repetitions come issues that have withstood the test of time, comments that became taken out of context and you she would later change. it didn't seem fair to leave them in, but on the other hand
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these were formal interviews, not accidentally recorded conversations and both participants understood that they were creating a primary source document. so although there are good arguments on both sides of the issue, i thought that i didn't really have the right to alter the historical record. i also wanted people to see what and how my mother saw at a particular moment in time. it's sometimes difficult for me to reconcile that people feel they know her because they have a sense of her image or her style, but they've never been able to appreciate her intellectual curiosity, sense of mischief, deep engagement with people and events around her and her fierce loyalty to my father. for a modern listener, one of the striking things about these interviews is how the locomotive time. in her statements, my mother takes care to come across as an obedient wife of the 1950s who
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thinks only of creating a home for her has been in children. in keeping with the purpose of the interviews, but also in keeping with the time, arthur slawson sure ask fewer questions about own activities or conception of her public role than an interviewer would ask a first lady today. now that she has become sort of international icon, it's hard to remember that she was only 31 when my father became president and totally overwhelmed by the prospect. it's interesting to track her evolution into a modern woman and ironic that despite the hopelessly old-fashioned view she expresses, that transformation became in the white house. so she played largely traditional role as first lady, like so many women cheat on her identity through work. when she moved in the white house she and her 3-year-old. any newborn baby. her pregnancies had a difficult
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issue is this another child at night 63. so caring for us and protecting us was her top priority. they've been a long time since her children in the white house and the obligations of a first lady included a busy official schedule. she sought to carve out time she was benefice each day, nearly version of the work-family balancing act that women are so familiar with. but she was dismayed by the uninspiring talk show would be honest and say coming hideously unattractive look of the white house and its surroundings. she shared my fathers believed that american civilization had come of age and was determined to project the very best of our history arts and culture to the world. she wanted the legacy of washington, jefferson and mccann to be visible to students and families who visited our nations capital in as the state
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entertainer. so she set about to transfer in the white house into one of the nation's premier museums of american art undertook a diverse in history. this is more complex than simply redecorating the word she didn't like. the project involved professional oversight and interagency debate. she was determined to be self financing and self-sustaining and profitability to academic research and scholarship in the fields of american art and television simulated new interest and pride in our cultural heritage. she's at the fine arts committee, founded the white house historical association reorganized library to show works of american literature. she created a mostly wrote the first guidebook that arthur slawson to help with the presidential biographies on one page, both of which are still sold today. of course people were eager to help her, that this was an ambitious high visibility undertaking a military to believe today, it was
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controversial and carry political risk. during my father's senate campaign in 1958 in the 1960 primaries, my mother thought she was a political liability to his father because ever since he french accents includes and his advisers did, too. they lined up against the white house restoration, which they thought was elitist and they were concerned about propriety of creating a guidebook. i recently came across a few memos on the subject and i thought you might like to hear some excerpts. the first is from a memorandum to the president hari proposed the sale of the mentors in the white house from jack mcnally, a loyal irishmen from western mass who was put in charge of the white house administration. he attacks supporting memos from the white house police and department of interior to join him in opposing the idea of a
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guidebook in behavior that cannot be called a profile in courage, my father gave the memo to his secretary to forward to my mother who is on the case. last night it reads in part, the large flow of people through the white house of accomplished by the fact there is no obstructions to slow traffic. the secret service and white house police contend that a moving crowd is a safe crowd. we must take into consideration the possibility of severe criticism from the public. frequent references are made by touristic commercialism does not and has never existed in any form in the president home. consideration must also be given to the impressions by visiting dignitaries who would be exposed to the commercial venture and the president felt he had also possible criticism from the press and the members of congress. as examples of the criticism that may result, we would like to cite the unfavorable publicity that was given the truman balcony and the efforts
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of the eisenhower administration to keep square the president cutting green. fastmac the last reference is too much for another route, absurd, how. this is not a concession stand. there is absolutely no connection. [laughter] like other people who came against another, mcnally didn't stand a chance. knowing afterwards another route to jb west the ohatchee buescher, mr. west, the president tells him that jack mcnally was against time to guidebook from the beginning says osmer could be sold on the way out. but timidly says this is your province and doesn't want to mention it, which is rather sweet of him. i agree we can use the money, every penny if needed. not long after her commitment to history that her pressure and my staff to support unesco effort to save the egyptian temples which were going to be flooded by construction of the dam. she wrote a long memo to jfk to
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concede and scares, laying out the imports are the temples and suggested that this would be a nice gesture to nasser as he promised to not interfere with eminem and dr. rabia. she demonstrates an understanding of cold war diplomacy writing the psychological political argument carries more weight than economic one. russians are building the dam is strictly an economic enterprise. i see them at temple, the u.s. could show about the spiritual side in the importance of the apache money of egypt. i think my father rolled over on this one, too. the temple of tender out much about 10 museum of new york was a gift from the government of egypt and the people of the united states to thank them for their support. her commitment to history us a letter to my fathers lafayette square and start restoring pennsylvania avenue.
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these efforts helped launch the historic preservation movement neighborhoods were being demolished for my office buildings and renewal projects. she didn't do that. she was still too schematic design. a letter to henry, dearest daddy tache [laughter] you can tell this is going. he sent pat moynihan's letter to me. but before i left the white house and to see president johnson to ask him if he was the president kennedy's committee for pennsylvania avenue. before we left washington, jack had been working on the president to pennsylvania avenue project when you withdraw from the white house for the capital can sometimes be woodblock halfway there tonight, the encroachments of the presidents house depressed him. he wished to do something that would ensure he ability of architecture along the avenue which is the main artery of the united states. this is not something that came a train to describe the white
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house. that is why it sells such an emergency of asking president johnson. i knew he would have so many things piling on him he would not give priority to the committee for pennsylvania avenue. that's why they tend to receive them. he did. you can ask a surprise they were to be among the first meetings of lyndon johnson. here comes the hard part. i gather from my manslaughter that he has reason to feel comfortable with you. i don't know the reasons, but i can guess them. just wanted to tell you with all my heart this is one thing that really meant something to chat. love jackie. so teddy is the result result his is difference is moynihan moynihan hasn't he always did found a way to make it happen. and so many ways both private and public, she defined the role of first lady for the modern age. she straddled to terrorists. the one she describes in the oral history when women stay home and have a few opinions
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that differ from their husbands and the coming age when women broke free to become independent and self supporting. she lived fully in both. as first lady she took the traditional women's focus on the home and transformed it into a full-time job and source of national pride. in doing so, she created her own identity as an independent woman. she became an international sensation come a new kind of american, speaking languages of the country she visited with my father and traveling abroad to india and pakistan on their own. most of all, my mother was a patriot. she believed that her time in the white house was the greatest privilege and worked hard to be worthy of the honor. she loved my father and her kurds held this country together after his death. what it was over, she was in the life of a private citizen, a status she cherished. she's on the strength to create a new life for herself and embrace new world.
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although john and i would have preferred to stay near the penny candy score, she remarried, took us to greece and expanded our horizons measurably. she devoured everything skoda and renewed her unsuccessful efforts to teach us french. [laughter] and like so many women of her generation, she went back to work when her children were grown. she took command of satisfaction from her job as an editor and from the fact that it was a child she could have gotten if she had never married at all. she loved your colleagues and their authors. she enjoyed the chase for the next big bestseller. she was expected when she landed michael jackson's autobiography was thought to bring quality literature to a wide audience which was the first to publish the work of the egyptian nobel laureate. her love of history continue to inspire her. she published an early book about sally hemming and is always trying to get us to read
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the only known diary of napoleonic foot soldier, who she discovered an obscure library. she continued to advocate for historic preservation. mixed-use neighborhoods and the quality of urban life. she led the fight to save grand central station and secure that with the landmark supreme court decision. the she really talked about herself and get almost no interviews, her evolution as a public figure and life as a private citizen inspired millions of women to live life on their own terms and continues to do so today. when i was going up, she often used to say she thought american history was boring because there weren't enough women in it. i am proud she hoped to change that and make possible the world that we are fortunate to live in today. now i'd like to share a few of my favorite excerpts with you. first, you'll your description of my father's reading habits, then a section on the cuban missile crisis and finally a
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brief description of the white house restoration. i hope you enjoy them. [applause] use back ♪ ♪ >> during these times in the 1958, how did he kept upgrading? how did he plan to do that? >> he found the strangest way. he could read them better some thing. he would read working, read at the table, meals, after dinner, in the bathtub. he would prop a book on his desk while he was doing his tie. he would just read -- she would open some book i would be reading and just devour it. he really read all the time he don't think your time to read.
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>> he would reinsurer case because i remember it. >> anything he wanted to remember he could always remember. he was seething for use in his speeches. could be sitting next to them on some platform and out come the sentence for two weeks ago at georgetown u. would've read about one night just because it interested him. >> he think he was always looking for something in books. he was something about history, something to quote. he was quoting. we started to make parables like he drinks neither is thirsty. he is funny about it. i think he was looking for something in sweden. he didn't want to wait to think of that.
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use back the president commented on the question of whether it should be arrayed to not base his outdoor blockade. i mean, >> i was never told to me. but i remember he did tell me about this crazy telegram picking through the cruise ship one night. i guess he took the nice one first, or he might dismantle it. and then this crazy man came through and he was really upset about that and decided they were just acting. i also remember him telling me how he would seem to me kalutara to have them everything they had sent him that he really wanted to put gromyko on the line i just lying to and.
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i said how could you keep a straight craxi said how could she not say you rat. with the tip hallahan. he described that to me. and then i remember another thing, which demand that roger helmand wrote a letter about don't have one of the worst days of it off the last day. then i got immersed over alaska or some pain. do not violated soviet airplanes. >> but my god, we're sending it in. i remember hearing how andersen the independent i was mad. i remember i was afterwards. and then i remember just waiting the blockade, the only thing i could think of what it was like was like an election night, but much worse. you know, one ship was coming. later we turned back, but didn't
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have the non-it anyway and all the forward. and earrings that kennedy was there. i was saying to jack, did you send the craxi said no. i just remembering. and then finally some intern back. and i can't remember, you know, the day smiling when it was over in pain to meet, and that it had just come on maybe two more days, everybody would've cracked . they can't shepherd in the situation room. i said you can't. i mean, everyone. and then they wrote a letter to macnamara afterwards, which i
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showed to chat. everyone to the peak of human endurance. leaseback >> how did the president feel about the restoration? >> the restoration? >> of the white house. >> he was interested in it. he was always interested in anything that i cared about. but then he was nervous about it. i mean, he wanted to be sure was done the right way, so he sent clark clifford to see me. i think clark clifford was really nervous because he tried to persuade me not to do it, which jack ever said. he said you just can't touch the white house. he said it's so strange. everyone in america feel so strangely about it. if he turned to make any changes, it'll just be like that. he said it won't be like the
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truman and i told them about harry dupont and all the people we hope to get. so banal and bit by bit in how you set this committee up and certainly go things. and the cards very good about setting up a guide room. so once jack saw what was going on wizard of good counsel, he was so excited about it. >> was there ever any criticism of the things that she didn't know? >> there is the most incredible interest. and then the tourists would start going. every night i would come home, saying we have more people today after you found them in roundtable or something. when the eisenhower's had in their first two years, the guidebook was selling, teasing mcnally about it. he was just so proud. i was just so happy i could do something that made them proud of me. because i'll tell you one wonderful thing about him.
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i was never any different when i was in the white house than it was before, but suddenly everything had been no liability before, your hair, do you spoke french, that's you would find appeared in the gut in the white house and all the things i'd always done suddenly became wonderful. i was so happy for jack that he could be proud of me then. because it made me so happy, so those were happiest years. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> ed theme. kinnear is all right? and her forward to this but, karen said the gathering of the most fascinating people you could ever hope to meet. and thanks to these remarkable reviews, which we kinnear as far as read, we are privileged to attend a gathering of the
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fascinating people of the past with people ranging from edmund burke two onions pared. at the center of this gathering is the family living in a home that is famously not been welcoming to its inhabitants, that is likened to the present. michael, i want to start with you. you studied many presidencies to the franklin roosevelt. we struck at how many times the word happy came up in these conversations? >> i was. and she's nothing if not think that these interviews and one thing that she says more than once is that when her husband was elected in 1960, she and her novel reaction unlike most incoming first lady she was terrified and she was depressed, partly because she had just given birth, but partly because she thought it would wreck their family life. but there is such a fishbowl of so many pressures and she was amazed about it -- he said, but
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it actually had the opposite effect. during their marriage in 1953, john ran for vice president, and so, was gone she says almost every weekend. for the first time they were nearing the house and they were to the oval office. they are there together in physical proximity allowed for. so i think there was an exhilarating signing the contrary to what she expected that there really were the happiest years. >> he heard about her interesting fellow campaign in wisconsin. [inaudible] spin a good thing no one is running there this year. >> i don't know that these proceedings are being televised. >> she's extremely fond of wisconsin. everyone in wisconsin, just don't read that power. >> there is a word in your transcript i always wondered how to spell. she says eo.
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said thank you for clearing that up. >> i think she says that she didn't like a single person that she not accept for the people that worked for jack admitted west virginia she liked almost everyone she met. >> but obviously she brought great charisma to the art of campaigning and was an asset from all before the election. and the hard work of daily politicking, how did the staff feel about her? >> she's great. and i am sorry that she was not as happy about wisconsin as i saw her because we were in a main street, broken down storehouse and that was that orders. and i remember her being there
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with writing and things in the least entertaining the people who came. they found out who she was anyone to visit with her in a day. so i do not remember her. i do remember that there was a tester salesman for sun newspaper and a cat bothering her and kept offering her and eventually she was writing for the press. kenny o'donnell told me this. and she said, you know, that's although ipod ad. and he said well, he said that's my money. and so, it was not. but they hoped it would be. but thereafter -- and west virginia, of course she was great. and she was marvelous. the best part about her was if
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you got an assignment for her, it was done completely in a studiously and as beautifully as it possibly could have been done so that if you run the committee you had better make sure that she did everything properly. but she was very good and have them here. >> one of the fascinating things with a film crew doing a it documented the wisconsin primary which i'm sure many of you have seen. just to give you a sense of how far she came in such a short period of time, she said in a grocery store with a microphone, almost begging people to say hello when they're still shopping for not giving her the attention. so that may have had some influence. but [laughter] quite deservedly. >> when the bush was published in the 14th of december, there is huge media attention in the media got got some things right if you think of to write.
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a lot of attention was paid to her remarks about the obligation of a wife to describe his political opinions of her very controversial statement. i'm glad someone laughed. thank you. and yet on the feminism leader coming into existence in the 60s and as you mentioned, betty for dan, published in 63, obviously she has very independent thoughts. she's this sharp change of human nature and of all the people populating the white house and the actions happening all around her. and she later did were. so where do you see her as a feminist and evolution? >> i would say she is an unwitting feminist in the 1960s and she explicitly says in the oral history, i am not a feminist might aldrich her social secretary.
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but when you read and listen to her, this is someone who is caroline said very well, she came to the white house, yet she decided to do it her way. she found herself an enormous project which was restoring the white house, which is probably three careers at the same time. at the same time she had young children. she did the job of first lady in a way that was very much her own choice and she made other choices about her life, too. so i think by definition that we now suggest, i think she was an early feminist, but her political instinct collister on these tapes to say i'm not a feminist. >> is that since i.t. was well? >> yes, there was no question that she was a feminist. she just basically took over and did a job that other vendors somebody might have assigned to a man because when she undertook
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to remodeling, remaking the coming refurbishment of the correction of the mistakes made in the white house, she did it with a strained and her and intelligence that captures every petty. so it is not -- i would not dismiss her on any account but certainly not for lack of some wishy-washiness. but that is not the first thing that wasn't her style. >> one of the observations that jumped out at me reading this book was the extraordinary degree of physical pain president kennedy was in for much of his adult life, including much of his presidency. ..
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>> including with sam rayburn, and it obviously was not giving her the -- him the relief that he should have had. the -- the latest thing with the doctor that taught him straining and stretching was what gave him relief, but he was not a complainer about anything. >> his stoic, and mrs. kennedy tells two things. she talks about the two back
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operations in 1954 and 1955 and one of the most poignant things is she describes what torture it was and how she went through this, and later found out it was absolutely unnecessary, and she says that the following summer he went back to the senate and she says he looked wonderful in the gray suit strolling on the senate floor like there was nothing wrong, then went back to bed at night in a hospital bed, and the other thing is that, you know, when he was president, i think, dick would confirm this, you know, the number of times we now know he was in agonizing pain, you never saw it. one in that is in the spring of 1961, the first foreign visit which was to canada, and he planted a tree, and he had been told to bend his knees, not to aggravate the back, forgot to do it, and he went over and essentially almost ripped the back, put himself in a tremendous amount of pain, but
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if you see the video, he's to stoic and accustomed to not making people uncomfortable, that even the people close to him didn't know what happened. >> do you think any other president was ever in such constant physical discomfort? including franklin roosevelt whom you worked on? >> hart -- hard to think of one. for instance, robert kennedy says in the pr face to the -- preface that at least half of his days on earth were spent in physical pain, and if that's the truth, i think more than franklin roosevelt, absolutely. >> right. you must have been thinking about author's question in researching the book, a friend of all of ours. were there questions he didn't ask that you wished 245 he had? >> did, but everything is always 20/20 in hindsight 47 years
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later. as caroline mentioned. in those days historians didn't think about to ask about her own experience. they were beside that, so there's less on her. also the purpose of the oral history was basically to talk about president kennedy, but we discussed this, too, that there are things since we know what happened later on, you sure wish he'd ask, for instance, what president kennedy would have done in vietnam, other issues not as important in early 1964 that in retrospect we now know are very important. >> right. it seems like by asking author, and there was no one to ask with better skills and training as a historian, a decision was made to take a certain path to the story, which was the path of the harvard elites who came down to the white house, and, dick, did
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you feel there were stories that were not told? >> yes, including anything that author told because he was the greatest author of stories about himself. [laughter] i know specifically because kenny o'donnell told me when deen rusk visited the president, he had a particular message to deliver -- would you please get author off the list of people who get my cables? why? because he was about the most party going person in the whole white house because he said listen, anything you get by cable is around town by night fall. [laughter] so he said to kenny, no, you better not. i'll have to do it, and it'll come up poorly in his book as it is.
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[laughter] >> one thing she says in here is how in many ways how compartmentalized kennedy's life was, and she mentions the staff. >> yes, and, you know, one of the things i found remarkable, but it's real, nobody in the staff really did business in memos. we communicated by phone, and conversation, and that's it. there are not great records. >> one reason the oral history program. >> that's right. and it made a very refreshing when you could know that something that you had seen or done was not recorded, but would could also see and -- >> anything particular that you would have -- [laughter] >> well -- >> not too late, dick. >> no, no -- [laughter] i have saved up for my book.
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[laughter] no, the thing that remember best about all of that was when we came -- oh, no -- it was really about getting some stuff done at the white house, and everybody would get all excited about why is so and so writing a memo? why are they doing that? we don't need a memo, we just get things done. i think dave remarked that we should have no historian. we should have just some three decker people to give a report of what went on because that was his perm look -- personal look at the president's attempt to deal with people on
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the staff, but the people on the staff dealt very, very generously with one another. i mean, generously, not so generously, but critically, you bet, and -- but not in an offensive way, nor were we offensive to one another, although, i could have been. [laughter] but the most important memory i have of the thing was that formation and the -- of the campaign for the presidency, and that really began with the fight for the control of the democratic state committee in massachusetts. >> this is burke. >> and he was from the western part of the state, and i think
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he was known as onion because there was a patch out there. >> he's an onion farmer as well as a bartender. >> well that was not untypical of the leadership of the party. [laughter] but -- >> it hasn't changed. >> no, no. [laughter] but it started because that was when we determined that this guy just elected to the senate and should take a shot at getting control of the mechanics of the party, and now that is really how we got recognition nationally. nobody cares who's chairman of the democratic party in new hampshire or any place else, but who were the offices? but if you are getting ready for a convention to people who care are the party leaders, want to know who's in charge, even though they find that being in
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charge doesn't put you in charge of much, but -- [laughter] they did. so that's when we started the campaign for the control of the democratic state committee, and it was a tumultuous event that went on and on and on, although, i remember only clearly that it was on mother's day in the year in which the election was held, when we were in the hotel park plaza -- whatever it is -- and the president was interviewing the people of the state committee, and asking if they supported him or not, and if they did, we thought they were wonderful people, and if they seemed a little hesitant, we wanted to find out -- >> and you remember years later who was for you and who was against you? >> oh, oh, yes, you do. [laughter] oh, you remember, yes, yes.
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[laughter] if you wanted to get a ticket to go to the white house, you better have been on the right side. [laughter] >> in 1956. >> yes. >> yeah. >> and -- but that's when it began, and it was a crucial campaign. i mean, we didn't have onions burke and when -- >> who was juicy? >> kennedy talks about these figures not part of her previous life like juicy and the china doll. >> yeah, yeah. >> tell them about that. >> yeah, this really goes back to the hotel w., and hotel w. that apparently no longer exists was at that time the writer block of where the president's apartment was and right across from the state house.
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it was the buzz word of all paul's who were around, and they were in and out, and, hey, we didn't have -- >> fitzgerald had headquarterrers there years ago? >> i don't know, perhaps. you know, it was not a place -- you don't have e-mails and twitters, and all of that type of thing. [laughter] because you just met. we have a fellow at home, we called chris ringy smith. >> why whispering eddy? >> because he whispered. [laughter] >> thank you. >> they would spread rumors like as quickly as you could spread a disease. [laughter] and they frequently did what they spread was a disease, but as we were getting ready for the fight in the control of the state committee, we had mayor
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lynch of summerville, our champion, and they had onions burke, the champion of the mccormicks, but eddy mccormicks father was also on the state committee. >> in the majority in >> yes. he was about a different as a speaker you could make. he was coarse and rough and tough, and i remember when his son was withdrawing from the campaign of the attorney generalship or something of that nature, and the father stood in the middle of the aisle in the mechanic's hall yelling at his son, sit down, that's a stupid thing to do. [laughter] he was not what you call wise counselor that you think is in the back of a lot of these things. [laughter] but we got through this fight,
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and everybody was convinced that there were big piles of money because the kennedys were going to buy this thing, and how much are you getting and how -- you know, i went home and i said, gee, i hope there's something waiting for me. [laughter] dinner was waiting for me, that was that. [laughter] that was the meter of the day. it's to determine who was good and who was bad, but that continued on, and everybody is correct -- people will recall where were they in the fight for lynch and o'neill or burke, and they never did get it solved because people were still mad much, much later, and they never would have ever stopped that. >> i think they were still mad in 1980 or so.
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>> yeah. >> i had high hopes of talking about the defense, but it really is fun to talk about onions burke. >> yeah. >> there's fascinating what ifs in the story, michael, hints that opening to china was anticipated in the mid-60s and the quoting of mao, and a trip to russia. did that strike you as a surprise when you heard that? >> it's interesting. i had suspected it, but it's the first time we had more solid evidence from the prime witness. john kennedy was essentially beginning to plan his second term, and what he planned to do was to go to the soviet union, would have been the first time a president had been there, believe it or not, and also an opening to china, which in retrospect given what the world is like today was enormously -- but he said, let's face it we'll think about that when i'm
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elected a second term. >> it doesn't fair that well in the treatment. there's a story of how he went out one night in georgetown and had a bit too much to drink and felt he was not up to the job and does that track with your sense of where lbj was? >> i think mrs. kennedy, if she had read this later on, probably would have felt she was a little bit hard on lbj. this was the spring of 19 # 64. lbj was just becoming president, was not happy he was overturning her husband's intentions, and there was other glitches going on, and if service here, the one note she would have wanted in the book is this is a snapshot in time. she may have thought in the spring of 1964 may not have tracked with her feelings later on a and later on, she came to resume her old foppedness for lbj. she was close to lady byrd, and
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one thing to remember when reading the book, some of the more fascinating opinions, she didn't keep them years later. >> right. one interesting insight into his political temperament, about the opposite story of burke where everybody remembered what side you were on, but remarked that he forgave everyone. it was a little bit self-serving because you never knew who you'd need in the next fight, but it proceeded from a genuine inclination to forgiveness. was that your sense of how he did politics? >> well, no one could understand how he could ever forgive the senator from florida, his dear friend -- >> george -- >> who stabbed him in the back every chance. >> the voter registration was 2%? >> yes. whenever he needed the vote, he
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couldn't have it, and then the president would invite him to the white house for din e and we frequently complained about that which did us absolutely no good because he continued to entertain him and happily he determined that his career was not going to be furthered in politics, and he got out. as it were, those -- you couldn't understand why he was so charitable to them, but he was forgiving, and his modus operation was you may need him tomorrow because you may need him tomorrow, things of that nature. he was very, very fair about that. >> you know, in the times that stood out so much for me because she says, you know, i used to tell him, you know, why are you being so nice to that guy? i hated him for the last three weeks because of what he did to you. the president said, no, he did
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such and such last week which was very good. the thing he says to her is never close off a relationship so there's no possibility of reconciliation, and i do hope that everyone who's in washington now reads that sentence and takes it to heart. >> yeah. [laughter] [applause] michael, the term "soft power" pob e-has been in -- has been in vogue for a decade, and i believe caroline uses the phrase if her forward, and i don't know if there was a first lady before or since who had that ability to change people's attitudes around the world towards the united states, and even if she doesn't talk about her political thoughts as much as we might like in these interviews, there's clearly the sense of getting a great deal done to support the administration even in her choice of countries to visit,
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her choice of how to present herself, all the cultural work she was doing, was there anything like that before her? >> she really could see around corners and see things others could not see. one was latin america which then and later on got short thrift from american presidents. she thought it was important to go to costa rica, went to mexico. they traveled there. would be of the things in the book is she talks about a newspaper headline that mrs. kennedy was nice enough to actually shake hands with little children who were from a latin america country because that was so unusual at the time. one thing about john and jackie kennedy felt which is that you're saying, ted, is one test of the american power is the number of missiles and nuclear weapons and so on, but often times just as important is how people think about america in their hearts. that's what the peace corp. was about. >> there's some wonderfully
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undiplomatic statements in this book. >> one or two? >> one or two, thank goodness. i learned she named here poodle dugal in the 1950s. [laughter] >> that was any foot night, she should not be remembered for that. >> it was a nice detail. did those surprise you. >> when she said that she came to have the same, i think opinion of french people as she did of people in wisconsin. [laughter] i think sort of for the same reasons because wisconsin could not ultimately vote overwhelmingly for john kennedy, and the french, particularly, charles dugal, was giving her husband a great deal of trouble. you can see that to some extent as a great test to loyalty. >> there's beautiful language in the middle of thing the in the cuban missile crisis, there was no day or night. >> no difference between sleeping and waking. >> right. >> i thought that was so
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signaled because one of the though -- toughest things in the story, and i think you'd agree, is to find out what someone -- two things -- one, the depth of the religious beliefs, particularly the president, and also the true nature of the marriage. she describes the cuban missile crisis they were together probably more during that period than perhaps any other time during that presidency, and he would call her, and they went for walks on the lawn, spent a lot of time together, and that tells you something because you were mentioning franklin roosevelt. he admired elenor, but when in a moment of great anxiety, he wouldn't have found her restful or supportive company or spend a lot of time with her in a crisis like this. in the case of jfk, whom does he turn to? it's jackie. >> were there any parts of this cd set and book, dick, that surprised you?
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that revealed new sides to president kennedy? >> not really, but i must say that i was marveled at her concern about the -- for instance, the remodeling of the white house. the detail that she went to and that she had the research that she did and them her ability to administer it is really overwhelming. i just can't believe that a person could do it on sort notice unless she was planning for much longer than we know. >> i think it was a depth of her reaction when she came to the white house and had a lovely experience with mrs. eisenhower who did not do terribly well. you'll read that in the book if you have not seen it yet, but she was shown through the state rooms, and she said they looked like a bad convention hotel, and there was a reason for that, which i'm not sure she knew which is when the white house
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was reconstructed during the tryman administration because -- truman administration because it fell down, left the four walls on the outside, scooped out the inside, built new walls, and they ran out of the money, and they made a deal with the department store in new york that furnished the whole first floor of the white house, and it looked that way, and she felt it did. [laughter] sometimes the restoration of the white house is written off as interior decoration or just superficial. she had to raise this money, which was not easy. she had to keep particularly two or three architectural advisers from colliding with one another. harry dupont and sister parrish to some extent, so if anyone has political skills, the fact she was able to do this, get it in on time, under budget, and for the white house to look the way it does today, if not for her, i
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think the white house would still look like a bad convention hotel. >> yeah. the eisenhowers don't come off terribly well. eisenhower is walking around the residence in his golf shoes leaving holes in the floor, but i felt a little bit sorry for her. to have been succeeded by jacqueline kennedy must not have been the easiest thing. >> i think not, but as mrs. kennedy says, things drift to her ear like mrs. eisenhower say of the restoration, i hear they made the red room purple. >> right. it's an interesting moment of pub my cations because i was not sure -- publications because i was not sure whether to listen or read, and really between the two, you get more from hearing her speak, although, i had one alarming moment in my car. i had them all loaded in, and i left keith richards, one cd of keith richards in there, it took
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a little understanding. [laughter] >> she'd love that, wouldn't she? [laughter] >> where do you think your rairds and her -- your readers, and her readers, or are there readers? >> it's a different experience. when you read it, i think, you can perhaps absorb what is said a little bit more, but when you listen, you i think you're absolutely right, ted, and this is true for tapes of this kind. you get a sense, and, in fact, i heard caroline talk about it. you hear the tone of voice, shades of meaning you just can't possibly get from reading the words. >> right. we're now at the part of the event where we are taking questions, and i have a few to begin. this is for you, dick. she talks about joseph p. kennedy and rose kennedy. you must have known the two individuals. do your impressions match with your memories of them and interactions in public? >> yes.
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[laughter] >> had a long career in political life, huh? [laughter] and distinguished. well -- [laughter] >> no, mr. kennedy was very much a dominant figure in almost everything that went on in the political life of john kennedy. his mother was even more dominant on the player life, and kept after them for all of the reasons that good mothers do. i mean, to make responsible children, but they kept very, very close track of what each was doing, and so i would not
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disagree anybody who thinks they were enormously influential, but what i'm confident of, however, is that ambassador kennedy could not influence certain people in the democratic party. i mean, people that we were supporting, he frequently did not. >> who are you thinking of? [laughter] >> well, just only thinking about one fight that we had, and he just was not responsive. i mean, well, bobby was the responsible one, and what happened was that bobby had indicted the brother of a congressman from new york, and the congressman who had been very, very responsive to us and
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wanted desperately for the indictment to be withdrawn. bobby refused. they then was a talk to the ambassador who said no, he will do what he's going to do anyway, so it caused us some pain, but not a great deal, but it's the type of thing in which they would differ, and if he differed, he differed because see one strong rascal -- >> around that time, kennedy joked he was a robert taft democrat? >> yeah. >> michael, what surprised you the most? did her assessment of key players differ from your views and that of other historians? >> sure, in all sorts of ways, but i think in a large sense the thing that really surprised me is if we were talking a year ago, i would have said that she
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was a large influence in the period, but i wouldn't have said she was a large political figure in the administration, and i think if you read this book, you have to say that because the number of times she talks, mainly about people, but not only always about people, and you notice that the people that she's very critical of wound up not doing teshbly well -- terribly well in the administration and others, but she talks about a few cases, for instance, when she was in pakistan, added to her trip to india to balance it off for political reasons, and two thinged happened actually. john kenneth was the ambassador to india which kennedy knew since he was in harvard, and united states and pakistan didn't have that relationship, so for diplomatic reasons it was good to imply that walter and pakistan had not an equally, but at least some relationship with
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the president, so mrs. kennedy, implying that president thinking very well of the ambassador and so on, and he says, that's follow-upny, i just -- that's funny, i just met him once when i left to take this job two weeks ago. that didn't work so well, but not vuflt -- as a result of this, she went home, wrote the husband a memo saying this is the kind of ambassador we should not have in a job like this, and it went to the state department, and ambassador served until 1966, so maybe a comment on dean russ. >> he didn't seem to get as involved in domestic politics, would you agree, dick? >> well, i don't know that she didn't get involved in domestic politics, because, for instance, the talk about the monuments from the s1 dam flooding -- i
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remember going to see john -- not -- what was his name? congressman from brooklyn who was in charge of appropriations. >> now, would he have been politically helpful to egypt at that point? >> no, he was not. he was politically -- he was not at all anxious to help the president because he fancied himself by being in opposition to strengthen him, domestically. >> john runeny? >> yeah, type. [laughter] >> huh. >> and -- but, he was -- i went up to call him off the floor to ask him to please vote the thing that the president wanted, and he eventually said yes, he would, but he never forgave me for it. >> another question for michael. as a presidential historian, are
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you aware of any first lady prior to jacqueline kennedy who provided a candid public revelation of her experience in the white house? >> no. one thing is you study her life, she always broke the mode. she was always innovating, and perhaps, maybe near the most important innovation she made was the idea she would be asked for eight and a half hours of very personal questions in great detail about her time as first lady, and that had not happened before, and since then, it almost always happens. the first ladies almost write books now which in those days was very unusual. >> there's not a page of this book not filled with her wit and the sense that she and president kennedy were sharing -- >> there's a wonderful story if i can interrupt for a second where i understand no knee sha is -- indonesia is coming for a state visit, and the reputation had
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proceeded him, and they were trying to make the best of it. if there was a leader coming to the white house, the president brought the leader upstairs to visit with the first lady as a special thing to do for him, and he was said to have published his art collection, actually published by the chinese, so mrs. kennedy, the kind of detail she went into got a copy of the collection, the book from the state department about 20 minutes before he arrived. she was not able to read it before he got there, so he was there on the cofa, mrs. kennedy, the president, and oh, we have a wonderful book of the art collection. they opened it, and virtually ever page was a topless woman. [laughter] he would pick through and say, there's my second wife. that's my third wife. [laughter] she says we had to make such an enormous effort to keep from laughing. [laughter] almost didn't make it. >> dick, could you tell how funny she was? >> well, i'll tell a funny story
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about a family. she was close to her sister who was married to the prince of poland, and he came here during the campaign, and he was very big in the polish crowd, but he was not an american citizen. he was a polish citizen, and the drive was to get him out and see the people, and this fellow who worked in the state department, and he was a very, very powerful political figure in the polish world, so he definitely wanted stash to come to his district or to campaign. i said, we can't do that. we can't have a foreign
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dignitary campaigning. he said, well, let me see what i can do, so the next i think i remember is i get a call from him, hello, dick? yeah? meesh. last night, stash was a smash. [laughter] you hear me? last night, stash was a smash. thank you, stash. [laughter] >> pennsylvania went democratic that year by a much larger margin than expected. [laughter] >> we now know the reason. >> michael eluded earlier to the toxic political climate we live in now, and, dick, how do you think president kennedy would have negotiated in that climate or help our system recover? >> i really do not know with this system as we have it today where people refuse to tolerate the other person's view, how he
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could possibly have owned up to it. when i left washington, exactly a week before the president was assassinated, i had been working on the civil rights bill. now, we had put together, with a lot of work and a lot of things, a real coalition of republicans and democrats prepared to support a real civil rights bill. it was -- and i left washington with a certain assurance that it was over. there was no need to do it. i used to be able to name the republican congressman that i could line up on almost any matter because they respected president kennedy, and they respected the things they stood for. you don't have that today. no one respects anyone else. no one shares with anyone else.
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i don't know how he could have fit in today's world unless he could have bombed them or something. >> one thing that does it for me is the space program. when he went to congress, and the moon landing before 1970 is essential to national security. a lot of republicans didn't want to spend the money saying if the president tells me that national security is at stake, i'll vote for it, which they did. >> yep. >> well, i think we should all take from this book a measure of optimism about ways that our system can perform well at its very best, and on that note -- >> even though we're not american idol, no phone number to call in and place your vote, but our bookstore reports directly to the new york times best seller list, so if you want to keep jacqueline kennedy ahead of dick cheney on that list -- [laughter] [applause] we encourage you all --
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[applause] to buy a copy or two or three at the bookstore. remain in your seats if you will. we'll get caroline, the book signing will be outside this door. those of you in the satellite room, there's a line coming in from the front. those of you in this room, the line forms literally around the back of this wall, but most of all, what i want to do is thank caroline kennedy for her comments and for this terrific panel. [applause] >> this vfs was host the by the john f. kennedy presidential library and museum. to find out more, visit jf >> here's a short interview from the 2012 campaign bus as it controversials the -- travels the country. >> you have written a few books on archaeology.
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why is it important for people to learn history through archaeology? >> it's often said that history is written by the victors, and we read about such things as major battles, generals, military campaigns. history talkings about those who won. it talks about the famous, the great events. archaeology, on the other hand, talks about ordinary people. we dig up the remains of seldiers on average days at their forts, at their military encampments. it's real life of real people that archaeology gets at. history has been biased towards the famous people, the important people. well, to an archaeologist, everyone is important. when i dig up military camps, i'm digging up the activities, the things that people were doing, 360 days out of the year,
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not what they did on that one or two days they were fighting during the year. archaeologists love to say it is everybody's story that we try to tell. >> you've spoke about how you've done multiple kinds of archaeology. how did you decide to transition to the military archaeology? >> i was originally trained in central mexico. it was fun. it's exciting to dig in other countries, but gradually, i started digging historical sites in america. things like early factories. i dug up a gun factory years ago. i dug glass factories and mills, but somewhere along the way, the national park service asked if i would work at the saratoga battlefield. i had never worked military sites before, but i knew when you dig up early america, people in general are drawn to certain types of things, and other
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things, maybe they don't find quite as exciting. it was 19 # -- 1985 when i first dug up a battle field, and i was amazed to find everybody is fascinated by early military history, and it's not just memorizing facts and memorizing battle strategyings. people -- strategies. people actuallimented to go -- actually wanted to go where the action was, stand where the soldiers stood, stand where it was going on and see and touch the things of the past. a bayonette, part of a musket. they want to connect with past people in past wars and battles. the moment i started digging fort and battle 2350*e8ds, people -- battlefields, people signed up to dig with me, magazines wanted articles, televisionings --
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televisions wanted shows. i never realized that level of interest exists here in america for all the old military campaigns, all the old forts, and i suddenly realized i never planned to dig a fort in my life, but all the sudden people cared. peoplemented -- people wanted to visit with past soldiers, and for 25 years now, i've dug up the remains of america's forts, battlefields, and encampments trying to find out what soldiers' lives are really like. >> there's a lot of interest, you mentioned in america with people in sports and battlefields, and in the forward to your book, is states that sometimes a compromised the material record. what's that mean? >> i'm afraid that battlefields are such famous popular sites, and any time battle was over,
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local people would pick up the souvenirs, and in no time as all, those bullet, the swords were picked up and carried off. also, if people lived nearby, if the remains of a fort were starting to crumble or starting to rot, local citizens, local townspeople would always go there, grab anything they could, bricks, old fireplaces, timbers, and use them for their own houses, so military sites are compromised all the time by people wanting souvenirs and wanting thing to recycle for their own use. by the time we arrive, there's only a fragment of what was once there at the military site. >> what's things you found that people wouldn't expect you'd find at a fort, and what type of
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things tell the most stories? >> i think what people expect us to find would be things like the musket balls and gun flints and gun parts. that's always interesting. i see students get excited at finding a musket, but i think the more unexpected things are usually the personal items, things a soldier had on their body, buttons, buckles, cuff links, anything of a personal nature, you suddenly see that button and realize a real person was wearing that and you connect with that soldier from the past. i think among the up expected things we find though is the fancy things. i think we assume everything's standard military issue, everybody's wearing the same thing, fighting with same weapons. all of the sudden you find something nice, and one fort that comes


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